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Utah's Matheson retiring from House; paves way for Mia Love

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  • Utah's Matheson retiring from House; paves way for Mia Love

    For an ambitious Republican, there is no more attractive House seat than that of retiring Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah — but the congressman’s former foe could be strong enough to hold off a run on the seat.

    Matheson’s retirement announcement Tuesday turned a top GOP pickup opportunity into a seat for which national Democrats may not compete for the foreseeable future. No names of potential candidates emerged in the immediate aftermath, but anyone jumping in now would face a truncated timeline and a challenging race for the GOP nomination ahead.

    Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who lost to Matheson by 768 votes in 2012, got a jump on the GOP competition by kicking off her campaign early this cycle. With the state’s top campaign operative on board and nearly $700,000 in the bank by the end of September, there is a sentiment in the state that her head start could be too much to overcome.

    “I think Mia Love is too formidable right now,” said Kirk Jowers, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics. “She has the name ID, the money and now she has Dave Hansen who is about the most respected campaign manager. So if you’re taking a look at your ability to win, it’s hard to see anybody who doesn’t start out behind in all major campaign considerations.”

    Love told CQ Roll Call in March that it was important to ramp up the campaign early so that she’s not starting from behind again — financially and organizationally. That was during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside of Washington, D.C., where activists from around the country descend annually.
    Very good news.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now